Barge strikes other barges transferring fuel; oil spills into Mississippi River

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard is responding to a report of an oil discharge on the Mississippi River near the Interstate 10 bridge in Baton Rouge, Monday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received notification Thursday at 8:53 p.m. from the National Response Center reporting at approximately 7:50 p.m. two barges were at a transfer station near the bridge on the Mississippi River. The barges were stationary while discharging fuel to the facility. While transiting the area, a third barge struck one of the stationary barges, knocking a transfer connection hose loose and into the water. 

Operations were quickly secured following the incident and Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge, along with members from OMI Environmental Services and Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, were on scene to respond.

Blessey Marine Services has assumed responsibility for the spill and has contracted OMI Environmental Solutions as the oil spill response organization. Sixteen-hundred feet of 18-inch hard boom have been deployed to contain the spill.

Pollution investigators from Marine Safety Baton Rouge conducted an overflight and shoreline assessments on Friday morning.

“The U.S. Coast Guard is actively working with the responsible party and the oil spill response organization to identify and clean up any affected areas,” said Cmdr. Quincy Davis, commanding officer of MSU Baton Rouge. “Federal, state, local agencies are collaborating to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”

No injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

The waterway remains open. However, it is advised that all vessels transiting the area reduce their speed near the site.

By Professional Mariner Staff